August 14, 2014
LAWT News Services
Community leaders in Watts were on hand Friday Aug. 8 for the grand opening of the AltaMed PACE Senior Center in the South L.A. neighborhood. The health center, will provide services to people 55 and older who might otherwise need to be placed in a nursing home. Patients will be able to live at home and receive primary and specialty care, along with dental services and physical and occupational therapy.
The center will be AltaMed’s first facility in south L.A. Officials stressed the importance of helping people stay out of nursing homes.
“We’re militant about that,” said AltaMed President and CEO Castulo de la Rocha. “We want to keep them out of institutions. We want to keep them in the community...with their family.”
Watts has historically suffered from a lack of readily available health care.
“I watched my seniors not be able to go to a doctor, because the grandchildrens was working, and she had no way to get there,” said “Sweet” Alice Harris, a community leader who has lived in the area for 60 years. “I watched them die when they could have went and took care of herself before it was too late.”
At the end of the ceremony, Harris, Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas and a handful of local officials, join with several others to cut the ribbon for the opening of the sparkling new facility.